News

After a year and a half of advocacy, Northwestern’s Hindu community gets first ever chaplain

May 5, 2021

Growing up, Weinberg junior Pari Thakkar said Hinduism was a significant part of her life. However, after she came to Northwestern, she had no one to go to with questions about navigating her relationship with religion as a college student.  

“I think oftentimes, as a secular university, we tend to forget about the importance of religion for those who practice it and choose to rely on it and depend on it,“ Thakkar said. 

A chaplain was necessary for the Hindu community at NU, Thakkar said. 

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Officials grapple with coronavirus vaccine hesitancy among Latino evangelicals

May 5, 2021

EVERETT, Mass. — Sunday after Sunday, parishioners would approach Victor Chicas privately after he delivered his sermon in a small storefront church next to a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Was the coronavirus vaccine safe, they asked their beloved pastor. Would it enable the government to track them? And what, they wanted to know, might the vaccine represent for Christians?

Chicas agonized over what to tell the 80 members of Ministerio Dios Habla Hoy’s congregation, weighing concerns about his own ill health against his interpretation of the word of God and rumors spreading on...

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Hoboken’s first Sikh mayor is on the front lines of fighting antisemitism

May 5, 2021

When Ravi Bhalla moved to Hoboken, N.J., he was a recent law school graduate thinking he’d stay for a few years and save on rent by not living across the river in New York City. “I was a bachelor,” said Bhalla. “Hoboken checked all those boxes [for] a young, single person wanting to have access to Manhattan, but also being a Jersey boy like myself, wanting to stay in New Jersey.” 

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‘I was too scared to tell anyone’: In new survey, 61 percent of Muslim students say they’ve been bullied in school

May 4, 2021

Yusra, 14, stopped wearing a hijab at her high school when girls spread false rumors that she bragged about being a member of ISIS. When she took the hijab off, a boy told her she still looked like a terrorist.

Ali, another Boston-area student, faced bullying from a classmate who drew a picture of him as a terrorist at the World Trade Center.

Yusra and Ali, whose names were changed for privacy, were two of nearly 200 Massachusetts students surveyed for a recent school climate analysis by the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations....

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Bucks high school student pushing to make Hindu holiday a recognized school holiday in her district

May 4, 2021

Central Bucks West sophomore Paree Pasi wants people to put themselves in her shoes.

"I want people to think, what if it was me? What if I had to go to school or work on my holiday? How would I feel?" Pasi said.

Every year she has homework and school events on Diwali, a major Hindu holiday.

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Monks share their stories, lessons as Thai temple marks 40 years

May 4, 2021

Every morning and every night at 8 o’clock, a strike of the gong echoes through the Thai Temple off of Palm River Road in Tampa.

Then, robed in the color of saffron, Buddhist monks bow in front of Buddha and begin an hour of chanting and meditation. 

“Chanting makes me feel better, feel good,” said Thai monk Suphat Kongkham.

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As Islamic holidays near, Texas Muslims back bill creating a more inclusive calendar for government employees

April 21, 2021

At the end of Ramadan in 2019, Zohaib Qadri was torn between keeping up with his hectic job planning a legislative agenda and compiling policy research as a Texas legislative aid or using paid time off to go to Houston to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with family and friends.

Not wanting to fall behind at work, Qadri attended morning Eid prayers at Nueces Mosque in Austin before rushing back to fast-paced work at the Texas House by noon. He had decided that, in addition to work demands, he needed to save his paid time off for the online graduate classes he was taking at Rice...

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After finding community in Ann Arbor, members of the Bahá’í faith discuss continuing persecution

April 21, 2021

A community of members of the Bahá’í faith, many of whom fled Iran after facing persecution, has formed in Ann Arbor and at the University of Michigan. Some of those practicing Bahá’í in Ann Arbor spoke to The Michigan Daily about their history, community and hopes for the future, saying it is their responsibility to publicly speak out since others cannot.

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'Our spirit lives on': On Vaisakhi, Sikh Hoosiers work to heal after FedEx shooting

April 21, 2021

On a day when the Sikh community around the world is rejoicing, the atmosphere inside the Gurdwara Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis turned somber.

Sikh Hoosiers on Sunday observed Vaisakhi, which traditionally marked the celebration of the harvest festival in Punjab, India. It's also a celebration of the culmination of the Sikh faith. 

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